Biology Exam I // Sunday

some day is different from

someday. I don’t know how. Both are just as

abstract, deferring responsibility


I will do better tomorrow

I will love you better some day,

someday when I no longer want to


I did not cram for my biology exam

thoughts escaped me like particles

through protein channels, passive


transport of care, of time

I probably could have done better

but I was saving improvement for 


tomorrow. I can’t think why osmolarity

matters. 9 grams of salt in

saline solution, to which I said


that’s 9 grapes. My love argued this 

comparison extensively until I yielded,

said grapes have grown in the past years


agriculture technology, genetic

alterations. Things are not the same

from when I was a sophomore in high school


I almost didn’t come. Cut my knuckles on ice

trying to clear my windshield in a hurry

I choked on water, mouth dry, fingers rigid


with cold. On the drive over, I told myself

You will not cry. I said, I am feeling

sadness, apprehension, worry. If


I said it out loud, it made me less

crazy. I almost didn’t come. I said,

That flutter in my stomach just now


was hope and expectation, two things

I will acknowledge only for the sake

of consistency. Then be rid of me


I did not cram for my biology exam

instead, I had more important things

to attend. Found him on the futon


stomach tender with pain. Stared

him in the eyes after I said all I had

to say. I turned and walked away


Dr. Phil once said, We teach people

how to treat us (a quote I only know

from my one-time therapist). So maybe


I taught him to walk all over me, digging 

heels in for extra measure. I thought 

I gave him a map in the form of my actions


towards him. Fidelity, honesty, time & patience

tending like a gardener, not passive like a 

scarecrow. Perhaps it was a difficult map to 


read. My watch informed me:

your heart rate has been over 120

for the past ten minutes of inactivity


he pulled me into his embrace, a different

kind of argument. My Watch perceives 

heartbreak. I raised my arms, wrapped them around


his waist. It is better to talk than be silent. I learned 

that. But not after, when his head was planted on my 

kneecap. I said, I don’t want to talk about it


the way she wept on the couch without

trembling. Something I could never

do. Eyes glancing down the hall


to view her dead lover again

over again and again, curled 

in bed, Death under the covers


she found him, not even fifty-two

don’t think I didn’t wonder

about the white crust pressed into the bed sheets


he said, Tell me what you’re 

thinking. No, I said. No words

for the tears in the ambulance


I was alone, coiling EKG cords

telling myself, But my lover is 

not dead. Stop crying


snowmelt stuck to my boots like wet bread

said to the woman crossing the road,

Ma’am, I don’t think you want to go in there



Because it’s family business.

But we’re good family friends


Okay, I relented. Arguing

has never been my strength. She 

could have been lying, I didn’t realize too late


passive transport, her body and mine

one heartbroken, another soon to be

he asks again for a glimpse of my mind


No, I say. No. I can’t think why 

osmolarity matters. This is the 

second question that’s demanded


an answer. What are you thinking?

I replied, voice calculated and dead

as a fallen tree across my entire body


I stated it in terms he would understand:

Don’t you ever ghost me like that

again. This time, he did not argue, I did not 


yield. It is better to talk than be silent. He learned 

that when I turned away, slipped on my boots,

and he feared I would never come 


back. I didn’t find my lover dead

but at the time, I had nearly two days 

of his silence consuming & warping my mind


some day, maybe I won’t stay

someday, maybe he will see why 

loving himself has always mattered

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